We celebrate Veterans Day with a long holiday weekend. I'm hoping that your kids understand why they have a day off from school Monday. It's not just another day. The definition of veteran is:
1) A person who has had long service in an occupation, office or the like.
2) A person who has served in a military force, especially one who has fought in a war.
No offense to those of us who fill the first part of this term, but what we truly celebrate and honor this weekend are those who have lived up to the second part of the definition. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have sacrificed for us, for their country. If you know these men and women, they are humble and rarely need or want to be recognized. But they deserve our respect and admiration. My father T. Hamilton Kennedy is/was a proud member of the United States Marine Corps, earning the Purple Heart award after being shot during the bloodiest battle in Marines history in the South Pacific on a tiny island named Pelilou. I obviously would not be here if he had died during that battle. But, like his fellow Marines, he was strong and valiant. As are our troops who have returned from their own heroic tours of duty, whether it be in Iraq, Afghanistan or some other far off land. I prouldy salute all who have served in uniform, no matter what the rank or duty assignment. If you served, this is a time to take a bow for a job well done. And if you are like me and are lucky enough to have never been called to such an honorable service, we should all toast and honor those who have done their time.
Sunday is the 238th birthday of the US Marine Corps. Semper Fi! That is short for the latin term Semper Fidelis, "always faithful", always loyal! Thanks to all courageous Marines like my dad. And no matter what branch of service that you served in, please join me for a Salute to the Troops at the Amerks game Monday at 3:05pm at the Blue Cross Arena. Active and retired members of the military will receive two free tickets for the game. www.amerks.com/veteransday.
If you know of any vet or current member of the military who may be struggling adjusting, please contact Master Sergeant Scott Mahnke who provides valuable assistance through the Wounded Warrior Regiment @ firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless our troops!